Although organizations differ in countless ways as do their Business Intelligence needs, winning BI solutions do share common traits. Below are seven principles honed by SHEA through years of successful BI projects.

Business intelligence depends on having a true strategy to be followed

Business focus

Identifying the business needs, drivers and business model will influence the solution design and will help prioritize what is important. The BI system should support the measurement goals of the business.

Frame the solution

Keeping time and monetary expenditures contained helps determine what is most important. Constraining these factors allows flexibility while making sure the most important business issues are addressed first.

Consider the future

Today’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) may be enhanced in months to come, particularly as underlying systems are upgraded. Designing for now while considering future needs and systems will help keep the BI system relevant.

Build early, get feedback

Getting user feedback early on helps build trust in the data while developing business user advocates. Being agile and delivering stepwise refinement accelerates return on investment.

Knowledge transfer

Effective training builds champions and a self-sustaining BI community. Shoulder-to-shoulder training of IT helps ensure expertise is conveyed in context.

Flexible technology

Powerful, reliable and secure server foundations with low administrative overhead should be coupled with easy-to-use end-user tools for reporting, visualizing and exploring.

Time for absorption

Different business cultures, and even different individuals within the same culture, may adapt to new information at different rates. Allow users time to explore and innovate, considering new ways to view and measure the business.